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Trade war

Trump says China sent 'large list' of trade reform proposals

President says deal is possible, triggering jump in stocks

President Donald Trump appeared optimistic that China would make crucial concessions on trade to avoid additional tariffs.    © Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump signaled optimism on Friday toward reaching a trade deal with China, sparking a surge on Wall Street after saying that the next round of tariffs may not be necessary.

Trump told reporters at the White House that he had received a "large list" of proposals from Beijing in response to American demands for reform. "China wants to make a deal. They sent a list of things they're willing to do."

The list contains about 142 items, the president said. While noting that it is "not acceptable to me, yet," the president added "But at some point, I think that we are doing extremely well with respect to China."

In May, the Trump administration had demanded that Beijing reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion within two years, as well as cancel government subsidies to Chinese manufacturers under the "Made in China 2025" initiative. Washington also asked Beijing to bring down tariffs to American levels or lower and had requested China to respond by the next time the presidents met.

"It's a pretty complete list," he said. "It's a lot of the things we asked for." Trump added that though "four or five big things" were left off the list, he believes "we'll probably get them, too."

The U.S. already has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, with additional duties covering $267 billion in the pipeline if no deal is reached.

"We may not have to do that," Trump said of those pending tariffs, upbeat about the potential for more concessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 220 points after Trump's words were reported, and closed 123.95 points, or 0.49 percent, higher at 25,413.22.

"I think a deal will be made," Trump said. "We'll find out very soon."

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are planning to meet and dine on the sidelines of the G-20 in Argentina at the end of the month. But U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg Thursday that the two leaders could agree on a "framework" for further talks to resolve trade tensions, rather than a truce itself, at the summit.

"Hopefully we’ll make a deal," the president said. "And if we don’t, we’re doing very well just the way it is right now." 

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